• First review of the album for James Williamson & The Pink Hearts

  • Birth of the Celibate Rifles

  • Why The Fleshtones still drink for free

Tamam Shud returns with short run of summer shows

tamam shud 2018 gigsWhere were you, and what were you doing when Australian surf and psychedlelic legends Tamam Shud last played some of their tripped-out live shows on the University Scene during the acid movement of the '70’s?

Most people probably wouldn’t remember and those who do probably weren’t there.

However, everyone recalls Tamam Shud for their input and timeless tracks contributed to Australian surf film classics, “Hot Generation, Evolution and the seminal Morning of the Earth”.

It wasn’t long ago Tamam Shud were onboard for the sold-out national tour for "A Long Way to the Top" arena spectaculars and "Delightful Rain: A celebration of Australian Surf Music" shows.

More recently the band has undertaken a brief East Coast tour in 2017 with Andrew Kidman & The Windy Hills, played a double-header with Buffalo Revisited and did sporadic shows on Sydney's northern beaches and in its inner-west.

The Shud has just wrapped up recording a new LP and with this release, an opportunity to celebrate their latest recording.

Thanks, you Pretty Things. It's been fabulous.

dick and phil marrickvile 2018Dick Taylor and Phil May of the Pretty Things. 

Lou Reed posed the question: "What becomes a legend most?" and it's a fair bet that playing a Wednesday night in Sydney at theFactory Theatre wasn't an answer uppermost in his thoughts. 

But that's the lot of the Pretty Things on this temperate Aussie evening. A fact of life for one of the original wave of British blues-rock bands and a band who were contemporaries of the Rolling Stones, briefly giving Mick and the boys their first bassist before they'd even settled on a name.

Melbourne launch for posthumous Brian Henry Hooper album

brian henry hooper rip carbieCarbie Warbie photo.

On 20 April, 2018 the world of rock’n’roll lost one its most charismatic and talented soldiers, Brian Henry Hooper. Best known for his work in the Beasts of Bourbon and Kim Salmon and the Surrealists, Hooper’s resume extends to stints with Charlie Marshall’s Body Electric, Rowland S Howard and Andre Williams.

When he was diagnosed with lung cancer in November 2017, Hooper was mid-way through putting the finishing touches on his new album, What Would I Know?, one of two solo records he'd recorded over the previous two years at Andrew McGee’s Empty Room Studios in Nagambie.

Bellissimo! A new Radio Birdman book hits the shelves

roberto birdman bookItalian journalist and occasional I-94 Bar correspondent Roberto Calabro has had a Radio Birdman book published.

It's called "Radio Birdman. Il rito del suono selvaggio" (that would be “Radio Birdman: the ritual of the wild sound" for non-Italian speakers) and it’s published through Tuttle Edizioni.

Not just a historical recounting, it covers the whole story of the legendary Sydney band from the early days up to now with chapters about The Visitors, the New Christs and the work of individual members.

It’s only in Italian right now but Roberto is keen to have it translated and published in English. You can order a copy here. Comprendere?

 

Los Chicos administer some post-grand final prescription medicine to Melbourne

los chicos toteLos Chicos at The Tote.

Schadenfreud is a German term that translates loosely to "watching Collingwood lose".

OK, maybe that’s too harsh: anti-Collingwood (that’s the Australian rules football team for those born above the Barassi Line in Australia, and any of the Bar’s overseas readers) sentiment is tied up with class-based bias, and a lingering resentment at the club’s rampant success back in the day. The modern Collingwood team is great to watch, and would have been a worth winner, had the battle-hardened Weagles not worn the Pies down.

The prospect of heading to The Tote, nestled in the edge of the old Collingwood flat, on a night of Magpie disappointment, was potentially worrying. In the end, the Pies fans were thin on the street, no doubt drowning sorrows in some other sporting bar.

Get Nicked/Hold On I’m Comin’ b/w And I Heard The Fires Sing - The Chosen Few (Buttercup Records)

get nicked1Another one from the archives and it’s not going to last long, with just 200 copies on offer. The three songs come from a New Year’s Eve 1978 show by proto-punks The Chosen Few at St Kilda’s Seaview Hotel (playing with Boys Next Door) and they're punchier than a front bar drunk at footy finals time. 

“Get Nicked” is an original - a bare bones rock thumper in the vein of Johnny Dole and The Scabs or Rocks. Minimal chords and a maximised message, it’s catchier than a cold. The Sam and Dave cover features muscular guitar from Bruce Friday, who’s gnawing away on that signature riff like a dog with a marrow bone. 

Is Arlo Guthrie important? Go ask Alice

arlo guthrie

The I-94 Bar is definitely the place to see a reminder that '60s icon Arlo Guthrie a) still exists, and b) coming to Australia. Why? Who is Arlo Guthrie? Is he important? 

I think so, but then I was a slightly aware teenager (just) from the middle of the '70s, and I remember watching a late-night movie called "Alice's Restaurant" on TV. So hilarious, smart, fun, pithy that I realised that although a hell of a lot of hippies were total knobs, some had good points.  

Tokyo - Penny Ikinger (Off The Hip)

Tokyo front coverIt's a long time between Penny Ikinger records but the results are usually worth the wait. "Tokyo" follows "Penelope" (2010) and "Electra" (2003) and is as evocative as ever but with a slightly rockier disposition.

"Tokyo" was recorded with a batch of top-notch Japanese psychedelic musicians, with heavy input from Radio Birdman's Deniz Tek. The latter's influence is evident - not just in some flammable splashes of lead guitar but also in the odd lyric. That Four Winds Bar sure has done some mileage since being name-dropped by Blue Oyster Cult all those years ago...

Even so, "Tokyo" is very much a Penny Ikinger record. Gone are the days where she needed to be referenced as "a past member of Wet Taxis" or as "Nico defrosted". As clever as that last marketing line was, Nico ultimately shut out the world. Penny embraces its musical possibilities and has her own distinctive voice.

Just hanging out in the Singles Bar...

"Giant Lizards on High" b/w "Fresh Meat for Martyrs" - Blurt! (Sartorial)
"Insomnia" - Mark Steiner and his Problems b/w "Six Feet Under" - Mark Steiner and his Problems with Line Saus (Rabben Records
"Urge" b/w "Milk and Metho"/"Crash"/"318" - The Nuclear Family (Urge Records/VS)

"Knife Edge" - The NJE b/w "Caesar" - Dear Thief (Sartorial)

Today I'm listening to a few singles (instead of cleaning the house for an inspection).  Sorry, that's the small vinyls that play at 45rpm.

OK - "records" not “vinyls”. 

Now, the beauty of singles is that they carry a stand-alone song, in a format which forces you to pay attention to that one song. For a low-level label or a low-level band - no matter what the rep, you're only as big as your last gig - the single is a signpost, a statement, a declaration of intent.

More Articles ...